I’m the worst. Absolutely the worst. It’s September. And I last wrote in APRIL. But I’m busy and tired, so so tired, and the worst blogger and so sorry for my absence. Does it count that I think of this often? That I write posts in my head and not on this virtual template? It doesn’t count, I know, I’m trying to be better.
We last left off with my father just starting to date. So many things have changed since then and so many things have, unfortunately, stayed the same. I’ll try my best to get you all up to speed.
My father and I had many conversations after the initial blow up. I have spent months in therapy trying to work through this. But in all honesty, the only person that was able to get through to me, to give me permission to be OK with this, was my Mother. And that is what she gave me. It was the weekend of Eleanor’s baptism; she was sick with a fever all week, we weren’t even sure if we were still going to have her baptized. My sister and I had gotten into a fight Thursday night about my Dad and I was upset in general over the whole situation. I took Eleanor to the doctor that morning and after we left, I went to drop off the prescription at the pharmacy. I use the drive through, because who wants to have to get out of the car, and because nothing can ever go smoothly there, end up sitting at the window for about 15 minutes. Of course in this time, Eleanor is not feeling well and doesn’t want to be in her car seat anymore, so she starts crying. I can’t reach back to the back seat to find her pacifier and I’ve pulled too close to be able to open my door. I have to actually put the car in reverse to give myself room to open the door, and open the back seat door to give her the pacifier back. And don’t you know when I go to get back in the car, my eyes go right to a penny that’s on the ground, right front of my driver side door. And I think, “OK Mom, I hear ya. Still mad though.” So I go on with my day.
And the next day, Eleanor is better, so the baptism goes on as planned. This was the second attempt at baptizing her, as we had to cancel once already. So we should have done this already, I shouldn’t be at church on this day and I shouldn’t be hearing this homily. But here I am, in church, listening as the priest gives a homily centered around the theme of “not judging others.” And I thought, “OK Mom, I hear ya. Still mad though.” So I go on with the day. And it is a lovely day and Eleanor gets baptized and we have a great party afterward that all of our good friends and family are at. I see one of my best friends there and I am talking to her and her fiance, and knowing everything that is going on with my Dad and I, she asks how things are going. I have known this friend for more than ten years. I have known her and her family and loved them all for more than ten years. So when she tells me that her mom was the first woman her stepdad dated after his wife had died, and that his children hated her, I was SHOCKED. I knew all of these people, I know her stepdad’s kids, I’ve vacationed with his daughter and my friend before, they all love each other. You would never know they weren’t actually siblings. I never knew there was such a rocky beginning to their story. As she’s talking, I’m reminded of one of the primary thoughts I had of my Dad’s girlfriend – what kind of woman would even want to date a man whose wife died seven months ago? What kind of woman even thinks that’s a good idea? And then I think, my friends mom, who I know and love and have known for half my life. She did, she was that kind of woman, and she’s lovely. So maybe this other woman is too. It was at this moment of revelation I thought to myself, “OK Mom, I hear ya. Still mad. But I’ll let this go.” And so I did. From beyond the limitations of this world, my mother gave me the only thing I ever could have gotten to move on from this – permission. And that night I told him I was letting go of it. Not because of anything that anyone else said or did or knowledge that they tried to impart on me, but because of my Mom. And we moved on from there.
So we met her and she was nervous, of course, as were we. And she let me ask whatever questions I had, even rude ones, like “Why are you divorced?” She was lovely and acknowledged that she knew we were all dealing with this horrible loss and that she gets everyone kind of feeling weird about this and having mixed feelings. It was nice. And I felt OK at the moment. And then I cried the whole way home, because, Death is a real Bitch, and sometimes grief let’s you pretend you have it together when you really don’t. We saw her a few more times and she even watched my kids with my Dad at his house once when I was in a babysitting jam, and it seemed to be OK. I was accepting and adjusting and working through my grief with my therapist. And then they broke up, and all of that anxiety and tears and anger felt like it was for nothing. I was made to believe like this was a thing, a real thing, not some disposable, quick relationship. I have to admit, I felt a little silly for being so upset about something that turned out to be no big deal. I might have had a completely different reaction and quite frankly, a completely different few months had I known what the outcome would be. So I guess the lesson there is, don’t get too worked up about things. You would think that I would have learned how quickly things can change, and not put all my eggs in one basket, but I guess I need to be hit in the head with that one again and again. Live and learn I suppose.
Let’s take a quick pause for a moment.